According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, passive smoking and increased exposure to secondhand smoke puts women at bigger risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, or an ectopic pregnancy.
The historical data of more than 80,000 women who had gone through menopause were taken into consideration for the research. These women had also taken part in a Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study.
All of these women had had a pregnancy at least once. Among them, 6.3 percent (5,000) were smokers, 43 percent (35,000) used to be smokers, and 50.6 percent (41,000) were non-smokers.
Almost one in every three participants had had at least one miscarriage, 4.4 percent had experienced a stillbirth, and 2.5 percent had undergone an ectopic pregnancy.
Those who smoked during their reproductive years had a 16 percent higher risk of miscarriage, 44 percent higher risk of stillbirth and ectopic pregnancies, compared to women who were not smokers.
Nevertheless, the health of expectant women and their babies still improved when smoking bans were implemented in public areas, decreasing their exposure to secondhand smoke. In a study based in Scotland, the rate of preterm births dropped after such a smoking ban.